There has always been something so effortless about the way that Christophe Lemaire executes his cuts and silhouettes on the fabrics. Partnering up with Sarah-Linh Tran, his namesake label’s collection for Spring Summer 2015 is extra-enchanting with an easy, breezy vibe that many brands try to imitate. That ease exists in every fold and crease of the knee-length skirts, light trenches, belted dresses, and especially that one single sleeveless floral dress. In the spacious venue of the Bibliothèque de France, there is a presence of an invisible wind that made everything flow, and perhaps the only fixated thing are the viewers’ eyes on the garments. The exposed shoulders and deep neck cuts add a sensual element that communicates luxury that’s completely against what fashion conceives as luxurious as of late: the cool factor. The minimalism that Lemaire is after in this collection suggests a femininity that might be seen as ordinary, but never mediocre. After all, leaving Hermès can only mean more focus and complexity to the future of Christophe Lemaire. Photography courtesy of WWD
Everyone loves animals and it’s great to know that they can receive the best care in such beautiful places. CRAM Foundation is an organization for the rehabilitation and conservation of marine animals in El Prat de Llobregat, Catalonia. Built in 2010 by Hidalgo Hartmann Arquitectura, a Spanish/German studio based in Barcelona, it is located in the old golf course of the Catalan town in an area of 18,000 square meters and develops the three basic guidelines of the foundation. It includes a recovery clinic, an administration building, a space for postmortem studies and several pools and tanks needed for the treatment of the specimens arriving at the center, and their reintroduction into the sea in the shortest time possible. The project seeks to balance the clinical program of research and public program with minimum possible means to ensure that the conditions of the activity become the key factors in defining the architectural features and volume as a whole. A beautiful place close to the sea, amazing buildings and above all, great work.
Home 11 is an elegant dwelling in Amsterdam. The structure was previously a large garage. i29 Interior Architects renovated the garage into a modern apartment for two people. The color palette is defined by three materials: white sheetrock, natural oak, and gleaming black surfaces. The elevated kitchen is composed of wooden cabinets and a black island. Step down into the living room and you’ll find an oak wall with black shelving and a small fireplace. The doors to the bedroom and bathroom blend with the wood-clad walls. Skylights run across the ceiling and provide a plethora of natural light. To connect the home with the outdoors, i29 Interior Architects included a small outdoor patio and designed the living room carpet in a green mossy pattern. Home 11 is an incredibly posh dwelling. The materials and furnishings combine to give the home a luxury feel. The skylights are a wonderful addition. Never underestimate the power of simple materials, natural light, and great design. Photography by Ewout Huibers.
Berlin based interior design studio Applied Object, founded by Dirk Rittberger in 2012, is dedicated to promoting furniture and objects conceived and created by various designers. With an eye on innovative and lightweight materials Applied Object aim to make furniture suited to mobile lifestyles known to blur the boundaries between home and work. Such furniture is the long board and short board wall shelves, which boast a beautifully minimalistic, functional and timeless design, suitable for almost every apartment, studio or house. This elegant wall shelf, made from a single folded sheet of aluminium composite, has been designed to hold books and CDs as well as crockery. Measuring 188 x 7 x 24cm and 94 x 7 x 24cm, the shelves are available to order through Berlin based store LOCAL. Photography courtesy of Simon Freund.
Sushi Azuma is a Japanese restaurant designed by the Osaka-based architecture practice Stile led by Ietsugu Ohara. The concept for the architecture is conceived with the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony in mind, where the activity revolves around the preparation and presentation of the tea. The interior spaces and the materials are kept to a strict minimalist architecture, allowing the colors and lighting to present and highlight the preparation and dining of sushi. Everything has been meticulously designed in this space, from the proportion of the furniture to the sizes of the paneling, to a visual play on the architecture such as on the inside of the private dining niches where the cantilevered table appears to subtly ‘lift’ itself from the bench seating, which is such a clever, minimalist detail. Accent walls are dipped in a contrasting darker wood while curved walls are only highlighted by the cove lighting, allowing the public and private spaces to coexist as an integral part of the architectural procession. While Ohara’s intention was to focus on the food, one cannot help but appreciate the calm and peaceful aesthetic of Sushi Azuma’s minimalism. Construction: Ida Home. / Jiro Ida Lighting: MAXRAY. / Hiroyuki Nagatomi Decorative lighting: flame. / Kenichi...
Copenhagen based multidisciplinary design studio Norm Architects created a beautiful, minimalist, grinder. The Bottle Grinder shares the shape of a bottle and is designed to intrigue your senses and leave you curious. The ceramic body, which is available in multiple natural Scandinavian colours, and wooden grinder top combine really well and give a strong impression at first sight. The Bottle Grinders look nothing like the grinders you’re used to. And that’s the whole plan. To create something noticeable and to change a well known thing into something brand new – as a way to encourage people to try new things. The grinder has a comfortable size and weight to handle. The upside down design secures that salt or pepper sprinkles out, when you grind only. One can easily adjust the coarseness by turning the top. A timeless, durable, kitchen tool with appealing design for you cooks out there!
Located in the landscape of the island of Hirvensalo, Finland, the exterior of the St. Henry’s Ecumenical Art Chapel stands out for its copper surface, that will be weathered green with time to be in harmony with the sorrounding trees and nature. After a small entrance foyer, there is the grand hall, shaped like a fish’s stomach, symbol of first Christians, with the altar at the end of the axis, illuminated through windows with artworks by artist Hannu Konola. There is also a gallery in the rear of the space, so the exhibitions and the ceremonies coexist in the same space, much like in the Renaissance churches. The chapel, a project by Sanaksenaho Architects, has a loadbearing structure of curved ribs of laminated pine and walls covered with untreated wooden lining, where there is an emphasized contrast between light and shadow. The architects explain: The most important building material besides wood and copper is natural light. It gets the forms, spaces and surfaces live all day long. The idea is to walk through shadowy spaces towards altar and the light, the source of which is hidden.
Copenhagen-based Norm Architects designed this remarkable townhouse inside a deceptively rustic exterior; beyond the structure itself, the minimalist sensibility springs from elegant hand-picked furnishings. The project in hand can be considered an all-around marvel, it delivers on all fronts easily. The structure showcases assorted features; ranging from high ceilings adorned with a skylight, a transparent staircase, numerous wide windows to shower the interior with natural light and, finally, beautiful wood beams (painted in white, of course). The coup de coeur to take this exquisite residence to the next level is the well curated interior design. The white canvas accommodates the black and white objects effortlessly, bringing out the best of them for each room. This project really shows off its strength when familiar, and often overused design pieces gain new life and freshness — such as the various chairs, lamps and tables carefully placed throughout each room. All of the elements and insights above are frequently listed as essential trends on several publications, it speaks volume on the quality and success of the architect’s endeavor.
Rad Hourani’s latest Unisex Ready to Wear collection captures and entices a sense of curiosity and yet embodies pragmatism. The pieces are a curation of beautiful craftsmanship and are born through an avocation of non-conformity, as the essence of individualism. Hourani himself sees modernity as an odyssey free of rules, gender, age, seasons, boundaries and conditions. This collection is incredibly befitting. Born in Jordan, Hourani himself wears a plethora of hats; designer, photographer, filmmaker, and artist. His work is an attentive study of the human body that celebrates neutrality as a defining human trait. This RTW Collection, and his overall ethos is grounded on this principle. The resulting forms and silhouettes are bold, minimal and timeless. There is an obvious effort to allow the wearer to a freer way to live and through his mindset and that of his label, his passion is obvious. He doesn’t name his collections, he numbers them, so as to attest to not following trends. The palette, the shapes, the fit and the movement of his pieces are incredibly transcendent and of-any-time. I like this. Photography courtesy of the exquisite Rad Hourani.
Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka continues to fascinate us with his simplicity in design and in particular his remarkably minimalistic work with glass furniture. His latest creation is the Prism glass chair for Glasitalia. Prism glass chair is a chair made from thick (19mm) high-transparency glass. With the cutting technique on the glass surface, it produces a clear sparkling effect like a prism. The glass is embellished with special bevelling which reflects and refracts the light, lending the object a rare preciousness. Despite its extreme lightness of form, the seat has considerable weight bearing capacity. Yoshioka writes: This creation is a chair like a shimmering sculpture in a space that miraculous expression is brought by the refraction of light. This chair may not exude comfort, but I’m full of admiration for Yoshioka’s work. Not only do his designs often have a beautiful minimalist aesthetic, but there is something wonderfully poetic about his work with glass.
Poland based fashion label NON just presented its very first, very beautiful, minimalist collection. The designs are based on classic geometry and spatial forms. NON strives for simplicity and emphasizes the unique structure of the material: Every piece is made of 100% Merino wool and every garment is produced to the highest standards in Poland. What defines us is an uncompromising quality dedicated to conscious, demanding women. I love the NON collection for its slightly abstract shapes, which still very elegantly underline the female body. And besides the visual aspect, it feels wonderful to wear the substantial but fine merino wool with all its amazing natural fiber characteristics.
New York-based, Finnish designer Lotta Nieminen has recently updated her website with a year’s worth of projects, each of them refined and showcasing a mastery of subtlety, now a trademark of Lotta’s style. One of my favorites is the branding, art direction and website design for Paintbox, a modern manicure studio in New York offering classic manicures and a curated selection of nail art. Making something look simple, effortless and beautiful is one of the trickiest aspects of creative endeavours, and usually the result of relentless study. I had the opportunity to witness Lotta present the making of this project during OFFF Barcelona 2014, and follow her initial struggles that ultimately culminated in a beautifully rounded, successful project – not surprising from a designer of her caliber. Brand strategy by Figure NY and website development by NoFavorite.